To understand the nature of individual leadership and wise management, interviews and profiles provide a pleasant and useful education. I like Charlie Rose’s interview show on PBS. He generally addresses the process of becoming successful, whether he’s interviewing Warren Buffett or the Beastie Boys. Throughout all media, it seems, interviews and photographs with business leaders are more popular than articles based on market analysis. A “soft” news approach to business, though appealing, makes me wary of missing the type of business news that is more immediately relevant to MBA studies and the job market.
This is one of the reasons why I’ve been reading more targeted media with deeper coverage. Gadget blogs will always interest me, but there is a lot of peripheral information to sort through when I should be learning something useful about the electronics industry. I encourage myself: more Economist and Bloomberg news, less Valleywag and BoingBoing Gadgets. AllBusiness.com, of course, has a strong appeal for me. There is also an enormous stack of periodicals sitting right in front of me as I sit in the Graduate Business Program student lounge.
This table is good representation of recommended extracurricular reading for MBA students, even if it’s under-appreciated. This “lounge” is primarily a study area, so students are usually looking at computers, papers, and textbooks. I like the table of magazines, though. I’ve spent more time reading the school’s copies of the Economist the ones at my home. The appeal of extracurricular reading is improved by fact that the material is free, and placed next to a comfy chair where I do a lot of studying.
Here’s a quick list of most of the periodicals (MBA approved!):
Wall Street Journal
San Diego Business Journal (I didn’t see this last quarter)
Orange County Business Journal (also new to me, this quarter)
U.S. News and World Report
Currents (magazine about higher education)
Meetings (a corporate perspective travel magazine)
Jungle (executive lifestyle magazine)
The last two seem like inspirational magazines for people who want to be the stated audience. Executive lifestyle magazines are, to MBA students, what “Seventeen” is to 12-yr-old girls. As my sister once told me: when she reached the age of seventeen, she had already moved on to “Cosmopolitan.” In any case, I feel like there are enriching tidbits for me in most of these periodicals, if not all of them. Still, it can take me hours just to get through the Economist (great for airplanes). Argh! There will never be enough time to read all that I feel I should. I am already becoming one of those people who goes on vacation to catch up on reading, collecting stacks of business journals like my parents did with National Geographic.